More action needed to tackle business-related abuse of indigenous peoples’ rights
OHCHR press release, 29 October 2013

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK: “Indigenous peoples are among the groups most severely affected by the extractive, agro-industrial and energy sectors,” said Pavel Sulyandziga, Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Sulyandziga presented the UN Working Group’s first thematic report, which explores the challenges faced in addressing the adverse effects of business activities on indigenous peoples’ rights, to the UN General Assembly in New York. “Negative effects range from indigenous peoples’ right to maintain their chosen traditional way of life, with their distinct cultural identity, to discrimination in employment and in accessing goods and services,” the expert noted. “There are challenges involving land use and ownership, and also displacement through forced or economic resettlement. Such disruption often leads to serious abuses of civil and political rights, with human rights defenders in particular put at risk,” he said. “Indigenous peoples are also often excluded from agreements and decision-making processes that irrevocably affect their lives.” The Working Group’s report highlights how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can clarify the roles and responsibilities of States, business enterprises and indigenous peoples in addressing these problems. Read the press release … Download the Working Group’s report on human rights and transnational corporations and other business entities (doc A/68/279) [pdf] … Download the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights [pdf] …

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